Combining Substances: Is It Dangerous to Mix Kratom and Alcohol?
In the past several years, kratom has grown to prominence as an alternative to opioids. Despite the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and its constant battle to ban it, or at least regulate it, it currently remains legal and available to buy without any special rules. And for many people, especially those who suffer from chronic pain, it is an absolute godsend. Despite the fact that the majority of its users are people looking for relief of pain or anxiety, there are a good number of those who take it recreationally. This is because it can produce a “high” feeling in some individuals, especially in higher doses. There is also a dangerous practice of mixing kratom with other drugs in order to magnify the effects of it. But what about kratom and alcohol?
Can those who take kratom habitually also drink occasionally? Will it make you feel drunker or magnify your alcohol “buzz”? In this blog post, we’ll explore those questions and more. When taking kratom, it is imperative that you’re aware of the dangers associated with it, as well as mixing it with other substances.
Read on for more information on mixing the two together.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is the substance that comes from a tree in Southeast Asia known as the mitragyna speciosa. It is from the same family as the coffee plant, and is native to Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Myanmar. It does not grow elsewhere, but it may be planted in other hot and humid locations. For most people who want to grow the trees, they’ll need a greenhouse.
The substance of kratom comes from the leaves of the tree. The leaves themselves are not necessarily very potent, so people in Southeast Asia are used to using them for a variety of purposes. One of the most popular uses has traditionally been amongst men doing hard labor. Chewing on the kratom leaves helps lessen their feeling of pain or discomfort as they perform hard labor.
Kratom is also used in a variety of remedies in these countries and has a long list of things people use it for in folk medicine. It can help coughs, clean wounds and help with stomach irritation and upset.
In Southeast Asia, it is also often used as a tea. In Thailand, the tea from kratom leaves is used as part of ritual ancestor worship. As such, kratom’s status is elevated to something quite austere in that part of the world.
How Do People Use Kratom Today?
Kratom was not “discovered” by westerners until the 19th century when they noticed some of the healing and psychoactive properties of the plant.
While there is some research in western universities on the effectiveness of the plant, it is still not fully regulated due to a lack of definitive studies on it. There are strong suggestions that it can help people who have PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, chronic or acute coughs and chronic pain. The latter is likely the biggest population of people who use it regularly.
Kratom binds to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain, which is similar to how opioids work. Additionally, similarly to opioids, thy then block pain signals to the brain, making those in chronic pain feel less of it. Because it is not produced synthetically, many people prefer to use it over medication produced in a lab. The effects of kratom are similar to oxycodone or heroin, though in a much less pronounced way. However, these drugs have similar effects on the brain itself
For some people, kratom can create a feeling of being relaxed or sedated. This is beneficial for those who are taking the substance in order to help with insomnia, PTSD, anxiety and other similar issues. The feeling of relaxation gives them the feeling of being sleepy, or able to function in their lives.
The substance is taken in pill form, in powders or in teas. It is readily available in many places in Southeast Asia and can be purchased online and in many dispensaries in the United States.
However, it is imperative that you purchase kratom from a reputable source, as not doing so can lead to serious consequences. Our kratom is fully pure, and we offer a variety of strains. We’ll go over this warning in the next section.
Kratom and Other Substances
Because kratom is readily available, it is often used recreationally and for those who are trying to “get high.” It may also be used for addicts who are attempting to control their addiction by using kratom. This is a smaller subset of people who use kratom, but they nonetheless, are a subset.
As kratom is known to have effects similar to oxycodone or heroin, those chasing legal highs may use it. Those chasing illegal highs may also use it, and may “cut” or “lace” kratom with other drugs. This practice is very common, as many people attempt to enhance the potency of the drug or substance they’re taking with kratom. But, as you can imagine, this is incredibly dangerous because of the effects on the body.
One of the reasons why kratom is still something the DEA is deciding about is because there have been deaths associated with the substance, but these deaths are typically not associated with kratom alone. A 2019 study found that out of 15 deaths in which an individual had kratom in their system, they also had another substance in their system as well. As such, it goes to show that mixing kratom with other substances can have lethal consequences.
It is absolutely inadvisable to mix kratom with other drugs, especially with the intention of using the kratom to get “higher” or maximize the potency of the drugs.
If you are using kratom as a recreational user, only use kratom by itself. Do not attempt to smoke kratom, as the powder can get into your lungs. Sprinkling it on top of tobacco or cannabis both “count” as mixing substances, so avoid doing so.
Kratom and Alcohol
With all of the previous words of warning, we now circle back to the main question at hand: can you take kratom and drink alcohol at the same time? Is it safe? Does alcohol “count” as a substance in this instance?
Unfortunately, there is very little research to speak to this question. There is not a lot of research on kratom in general, and research linking kratom and alcohol together is so scarce it’s almost non-existent.
There is some research on the use of kratom for weaning oneself off of alcohol, as some people have tried this similarly to how they have weaned themselves off of opioids with the help of kratom. But it is unclear on whether it is effective, and thus far, it seems to be less effective than weaning oneself off of opioids using kratom. This is likely because kratom behaves much more like an opioid than alcohol, so it doesn’t help the curb the body’s craving for it.
Some people will use kratom as a way to get drunk more quickly, as they may be able to find that they will become tipsy on a smaller amount when they have kratom in their system. This seems to be the case for any kratom strain that you use.
What’s the Verdict?
With no formal research on the matter, there are no formal answers to speak to the safety of mixing the two together. As such, it is likely best to err on the side of caution, and not mix the two unless in very small doses. That means if you’re a regular kratom user, you may wish to limit yourself to a glass of wine or a beer.
Because most deaths from kratom occur when an individual has mixed it with another substance, it is reasonable to assume this could have serious consequences as well.
Always take kratom and drink responsibly. Do not operate a vehicle after consuming the two together, as even if you have a higher tolerance for alcohol, kratom will bring it down. For some people, it may lower it exponentially.
Responsible Kratom Use
According to available resources, mixing kratom and alcohol should only be done in very low doses. At Etanicals, we advocate that you both drink and use kratom in a safe manner, and do not put yourself, or anyone else in danger.
Shop our selection of pure strains of kratom. They are 100% safe and free of additives or any other substances.